Using management information in a board meeting

What does good management information look like?

The businesses that will thrive in the year ahead will be those who understand every aspect of their business and finances, as close to real-time as possible, so it’s critical you have management information that is accurate, timely, relevant and visible.

How good is your management information?

We’re regularly surprised by the poor management information found in many companies – or worse still, how many businesses have no decent management information at all – which significantly affects the leadership team’s ability to make strategic decisions and to take necessary action.

The businesses that will thrive in the year ahead, make the right strategic decisions, and cope best with any uncertainty will be those who understand every aspect of their business and finances, as close to real-time as possible.

So as a business leader, it’s critical you have management information that is accurate, timely, relevant and visible.

Management team meeting

What makes good management information?

Your management information (MI) should provide a comprehensive overview of your business’ performance and include financial, operational and strategic data.

As a company leader, your MI should help you to assess your organisation’s financial health, review your ongoing performance and targets, identify inefficiencies, find ways to improve, address any new challenges or issues, allocate resources and find growth opportunities.

It should include key performance indicators (KPIs), benchmarks and trend analysis. Essentially, it should be easy to understand and act on for all key decision makers and board members.

Above all, your MI should be as up to date as possible, and enable you and all other key stakeholders in the business (directors, board members, investors and shareholders) to track progress and make the most informed strategic decisions possible.

What should be included in your board’s management information pack?

While every business will need slightly different forms of management information depending on the type of business and the industry in which they operate, typically in a Directors’ management information pack we would expect to see:

  • Financial data and analysis including income statements, cashflow forecasts, balance sheets and other financial modelling
  • Strategic data and analysis including market trends, competitor research and growth opportunities
  • Operational data and analysis including production metrics, sales metrics, employee feedback and customer satisfaction scores
  • Recent legal and regulatory updates
  • Updates to organisational policies, procedures and protocols
  • Key personnel issues – HR issues, recruitment and leavers
  • Updates relevant to your company’s mission, vision, values and behaviours

It’s time to review and update your management information

If you don’t feel that your MI is supporting your decision making, it’s time to review the information you have access to and put in place the necessary systems and processes to ensure you can collect MI that is accurate, timely, relevant and visible.

Here’s a key point: your competitors with good MI will be making informed strategic decisions weeks and even months before you are – so don’t get left behind.

If you’d like help putting together the right Management Information for your business, to help drive your strategic decision making, please get in touch.

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